Uganda imposes WhatsApp ‘gossip’ tax

Uganda’s Parliament has passed a law to impose a controversial tax on the people using social media platforms.

It puts a 200-shilling [of 0.05$, £0.04] daily tax on people with internet messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber and Twitter.

President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the changes, who argue that social media encourages gossip.

Should enter the law into force on 1. July, but doubts about remain how it is implemented.
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The new consumption tax (Amendment) Bill will also have various other taxes, including a 1% tax on the total value of mobile money transactions -, the civil society groups who complain, affect the poorer Ugandans rarely use banking services.

Minister of state for Finance, David Bahati, said the Parliament that the tax increases were needed to help Uganda to pay off its growing national debt.

Experts and at least one major internet service providers have implemented doubt, as a daily control on social media, the BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga reports from Kampala, Uganda.

The government is struggling to ensure that all the phone are SIM cards are properly registered.

Of the 23.6 million mobile customers in the country, but only 17 million use the internet, according to the Reuters news Agency.

Therefore, it is not clear how the authorities will identify to be able to the Ugandans access to social media sites.

Mr Museveni urged for social media law in March. He wrote a letter to the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija to the fact that the revenues provided by the social media control would help the country “to cope with the consequences of olugambo [gossip]”.

But, he argued, there is no tax on internet data should be, how it was useful for “educational, research, or reference purposes.”

Critics at the time, said the law crop would be the freedom of expression.

Mr Kasaija dismissed concerns that the new law could restrict people using the internet.

“We are in search of money to maintain the security of the country and extend the power so that you can people enjoy the more social media, more often, more often,” he told Reuters in March.

The social media have been said to be an important policy Instrument in Uganda, both the government party and the opposition, our correspondent.

Access to the platforms, elections in the year 2016 was closed during the presidency. President Museveni insisted at the time that it was made to “stop spreading lies”.

Other East African countries are criticized for the adoption of laws, the activists, the impairment of freedom of expression.

Tanzania’s government will put a court case on may 29, against the opponents of the new rules, according to which bloggers license to pay fees to your lender.

In Kenya, a new cybercrime law came into force on 30. May.

To attract journalists and bloggers managed to get a court order blocking the Kenya law prohibition of “wrong” information, they argue, is an attempt to muzzle the independent media.